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Question

What are the Jewish traditions/customs for celebrating a friend's new home? I know about the mezuzah, but are there any other symbolic/congratulatory items one is supposed to give to the new homeowner to wish him luck?

Answer

Except for the mezuzah, there really is no dedication per se. Most of us have handbooks that have various readings such that the moment is drawn out a bit, emphasized and highlighted.

The traditional gift is bread and salt, some add also a penny, indicating that the family should always have food and wealth and blessing.

Nothing to prevent you from being creative - assuming that your friends are willing - and have a creative house-dedication. Contact your Rabbi and see what s/he can suggest. It could turn out to be most spiritual and become a tradition in your community!

 Best Wishes,

Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner
Foundation for Family Education (FFFE)

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